Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best in Show: 2011

This is my third annual round up of the best art shows of the year (see 2010 and 2009).

1 Mark Leckey at Printemps de Septembre
2 Friedrich Kunath at Whitecube Hoxton Square
3 Christoph Buchel's Piccadilly Community Centre
4 Thomas Hirschorn at the Swiss Pavillion at the Venice Biennale
5 Wolfgang Tilmans at Andrea Rosen (chosen by Beatrix Ruf)
6 The launch of French Riviera gallery culminating in the brilliant Les Televisions
7 Without Sanctuary (thought this was far more than exhibition and shouldnt really be judged in these confines)
8 Ostalgia at the New Museum (glimpse of Michael Schmidt U-NI-TY installationbelow)
10 The New Psychedelica at MU (I know I curated this but I was so pleased with the outcome and it was so important to me it would be ridiculous not to choose it. Still from Carlos Laszlo's film below)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I've been MIA the past month... drowning in work, conceiving two exciting new shows for 2012, installing art collections, watching Black Mirror religiously, reading my favourite book of the year (designed by my new favourite designer Brian Roettinger) 'The Secret War Between Uploading and Downloading', and playing music for drunk women (see the bottom of this post)...

I have seen a few highly recommended shows though. A great solo show 'focal-plane' from Yuri Pattison at SON Gallery in Peckham which played around with the architectural arse-end of technology showing brilliantly presented films within ageing vitrines, and large photographic prints taped to the wall from odd locations Pattison had found on his world travels. The focal plane tumblr site to accompany it was a brilliant offshoot where you can get a feel of the works.

Paul Noble's mammoth show at Gagosian Gallery was completely different - a sea of super intense drawings from his fantasy city Nobson that you could stare at for years and not see every detail. There were some great giant pink marble faeces sculptures too.

After that dose of culture here are the top ten tracks that have feature in my music for drunk women sets... I say that proudly as I think this demographic has the best taste.

1 Pony by Ginuwine
2 Erotic City by Prince
3 Heads High by Mr Vegas
4 Gucci Gucci by Kreayshawn
5 Still Dre by Dr Dre
6 Orange Juice by EarlWolf
7 Ignition (remix) by R Kelly
8 Me Ting Deh by Lady Saw
9 (Not Just) Knee Deep by Funkadelic
10 Somebody Else's Guy by Jocelyn Brown

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Anti-Library

I went to SPACE Studios yesterdays and saw a show that made me laugh a lot. It was a project that I was asked to take part in - an Anti-Library. The starting point was this quote by essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb: "... a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones..."

On the specially created shelving space are book (not read by artists and writers including Jamie Shovlin, Aleksandra Domanovic, Tom Morton, Oliver Laric, Cally Spooner, Tom Ellis, Mark Essen, Yuri Pattison and many others. Each book had the name of the donor inserted accompanied by a text explaining why it had been donated in the giver's own works. Some of them were bloody hilarious and it was a very interesting insight into everyone's bookshelves (who doesnt like rummaging around bookshelves??)

Particularly entertaining choices included Harry Burden donated tome on castration, Dave Hoyland of Seventeen Gallery's self help book on friends of alcoholics and Julie Verhoeven's copy of Erica Jong's Fear of Flying with the cover ripped off. My personal choice was a dusty 60s copy of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar (ug so dull, that whole rich teen girl depression thing. As I wrote when I was younger I wanted to be Anais Nin not Plath).

The show is open under Dec 17 and I really recommend having a rummage.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Musical Mornings After

Les Televisions opening at French Riviera rocked last night... Highlights from the brilliantly installed wall of screens included Jon Nash's brilliant Casablanca drift, Sebastian Brucker's acid flash animation, Hannah Perry's trio of cut and paste mini films, Leslie Kulesh's disturbing bump and grind avatar - basically the whole thing was good and brilliantly presented. I ended up playing way too long at the Marquis of Cornwallis across the road afterwards (as Yuri Pattison's snap above proves...). God knows what the super white regulars thought of my set of dancehall, r'n'b and old soul...

As I'm obviously too exhausted to think about art I'm just going to post three songs I played at the pub that I really liked each dedicated to some of my friends there. Or you could listen to my latest London Fields Radio show on mixcloud here

For Emily LaBarge:

For Stephen Dunne:

For Leslie Kulesh: